day 332: Sea Shepherd
If you follow my blog regularly you probably know that I support the Sea Shepherds. Yesterday they sent another call to action out for a visual petition to free Captain Paul Watson:
‘To protest Captain Watson’s pending extradition and urge his release, Sea Shepherd is calling upon its supporters the world over to participate in an Online Visual Petition and Day of Action. We want you to visually answer one of the following questions: “Why is Captain Paul Watson important to our planet?” or “Why does Sea Shepherd matter to you?” ‘
So, after I read the call I went back into my archives and pulled out a picture I took in May. The picture shows shark eggs and was taken at the Sea Life Centre in Berlin, where I went to visit this “little” guy. So, why does Sea Shepherd matter to me? Well, it’s simple really. The animal trade is one of the biggest illegal industries in the world, right in there with drug and weapons trafficking. The Sea Shepherds are people, who go out there to fight the animal trade, since most governments don’t take this issue seriously enough or participate in the trade themselves. With that the Sea Shepherds literally risk their lives, since they are going against organised crime and a million dollar business. The Sea Shepherds have made many enemies and the Taiwanese Shark Fin Mafia even has a 20,000$ bounty on Captain Watson’s head.
“Captain Paul Watson was arrested in Frankfurt on May 13th on a 10-year-old warrant from Costa Rica while en route to Cannes, France. He is being detained in Germany for extradition to Costa Rica for an alleged “violation of ships’ traffic,” which occurred during the 2002 filming of the award-winning documentary, “Sharkwater.” The specific incident took place on the high seas in Guatemalan waters, when Sea Shepherd encountered an illegal shark-finning operation run by Costa Rican vessel, the Varadero. On order of Guatemalan authorities, Sea Shepherd instructed the crew of the Varadero to cease their shark-finning activities and head back to port to be prosecuted. While escorting the Varadero back to port, the tables were turned and a Guatemalan gunboat was dispatched to intercept the Sea Shepherd crew. To avoid the Guatemalan gunboat, Sea Shepherd then set sail for Costa Rica, where we uncovered even more illegal shark-finning activities in the form of dried shark fins by the thousands on the roofs of industrial buildings.”
By the way, in case you’re wondering how shark finning works: The sharks get their fins cut off for shark fin soup and then they simple get thrown back into the water to die there. I can’t even find words for how appalling I find this practice.
The Sea Shepherds don’t only protect sharks, but also – among others – dolphins, whales, seals and the Galapagos Islands. Their cause really is worth supporting and if you don’t know their work already, you should check out their website: seashepherd.org. You can also find the full Call to Action and information on how to participate here.
After I edited this picture I also played around with some more pictures, which you can see if you click on one of the pictures below.